Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Quilt Project...



About 5 years ago, I purchased a hand-embroidered vintage quilt top off of Ebay.  My daughter saw it, finished some the embroidery that needed completed, and asked if I'd make it into a quilt as a wedding gift for her and Dale when they got married.  

It seems that wedding is in the works for later this year, if all goes well!  Hence...I figured I'd better get to work on it.  

It is a king-sized quilt, measuring 100" x 100".  Whew...might take me a little while!  

It is too big to get a nice picture of it in my house because I really don't have a place or bed that big to lay it out on, so I took pictures as I was loading it into the frame yesterday.  






I started hand quilting it today.  What I like about these tops is that the quilting lines are already pre-printed on them so there is no marking involved!



Like most vintage linens, there are some "storage spots" that will show up in the pictures as I post my progress.  These don't bother me because when it is all done, I will soak the whole thing in Oxi-Clean.  I do this to all of my vintage linens that have storage stains on them and I've never had any stains that not come out.  ("Storage stains" refers to the brown spots that are caused by either bugs that get up into the fabric at some time OR that come from being in contact with non-sealed wood like a cedar chest or wooden shelf.)  You can't wash the item before quilting because it will wash out the pre-printed quilting lines and you take a chance of the unfinished edges raveling.  

Loretta

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy Birthday to ME!



Best birthday present EVER...

Today...on my birthday...day 96 of eating the Whole30 way...I hit the THIRTY POUND mark!!!

Thirty pounds and three medications gone!!!   It really is never too late to change your life!  

If it weren't for the terrible arthritis in my right knee, I'd feel like a million bucks!  I guess I still feel like a million bucks...that all have a bad knee!  LOL


Happy Birthday to ME...from ME!!!  :)

Loretta

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Feeling Blessed....

Quote for the Day:
"Without health, life is not life; 
it is only a state of languor and suffering - an image of death."
~Buddha


Over the past week, I've been cleaning out the flower beds, preparing them for Spring...raking, weeding, trimming rose bushes, collecting/cleaning containers for my container garden, etc.  During this bustle of warm-weather work, I found myself amazed at the difference in my life now compared to where I've been and what I've been through.

Two short years ago I was not even able to walk out into our back yard because the unevenness of the ground would cause my back pain to flare up after just 5 minutes....and that didn't even include actually DOING any work!   At that point in my life, I truly just thought my health was going to continue the downhill slide.  I hoped to find something that would relieve my pain, but never even thought that now...2 years later...I would be in the best health that I've been in in YEARS!

With my dietary changes, continuing chiropractic care, and ongoing use of essential oils, I am now completely off of THREE medications that I had been on for years.  In two weeks, I will be getting some blood work done that will tell us if I can reduce/eliminate two more medications.   I go weeks, sometimes months, without needing any pain medicine.

I can now picture myself living many more decades...something I couldn't picture myself doing just a few short months ago.  (Part of this perception comes from losing my father when he was only 59 and mother at the age of 68.)

In the meantime, I'm able to enjoy many physical activities that I had thought were a thing of the past.   I have a list of things that I plan to get done around the house...things that have been put off for years because of my health.  And we won't even mention the list of quilts that I want to make in this lifetime!  

I'm loving every minute of my new life and I'm looking forward to what the future holds for me!

Loretta

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!




Happy Easter!  I hope that you all had a nice Easter and got to enjoy some time with your family or friends!

We had Easter dinner with our friends that live across the street from us, Wes and Kathy!  The food was delish and between her and I, we were able to tweak the menu enough so that I had plenty to eat...in fact, too much to eat!  

She served these beautiful individual cheesecakes for dessert...


...Andy, Kathy, and Wes all said they were very good!  Aren't they adorable???

I didn't have any, but I took a package of these Coco-Roons with me and had them with a cuppa coffee while they enjoyed the cheesecakes so that  I had a delicious "treat" while they had their treat.  I haven't been eating "treats" for almost 3 months now so it was an absolutely perfect end to the meal! 

Kathy doesn't sew but knows that I do, so she gifted me with this sewing machine cover that used to belong to her mom.  In fact, I'm not completely sure, but I think it may have been homemade by her.


Isn't it sweet???  It is the perfect fit for my Viking embroidery machine and I feel honored that she gave it to me.  I know how much she loved her mom!

I can't show you what quilt I'm currently working on because it is a gift, but once it has been given to the intended recipient, I'll post pictures!  :)

Loretta

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring is Here!!!

Quote for the Day:
"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush." ~
Doug Larson


Last summer when we were in Tennessee when our grandson was born, I bought a tub full of quilting fabric from someone on their local Craigslist....a whole large tote of fabric for $40!!!  I emptied the tote and put everything away...well...everything except a stack of 5" X 6" squares that were tied together.  This particular stack was a mix of fabrics...seersucker, cotton, home dec and other fabrics...and I wasn't quite sure where to put them.  I could have just thrown them away, but that were such pretty colors and looked like they coordinated with each other so well...they just made me smile...so I just put them aside for the time being.  (The rest of the tote contained cotton quilting fabric with only a small handful of non-quilting fabrics, so it was VERY worth the money!)  

About a month ago when I was cleaning off the shelving units in my sewing room and moving some things around, I came upon them again, but still didn't quite know what to do with them.  I put them on my cutting table and decided that if I didn't figure out something soon, then I would pass them along to a friend that I donate fabric to now and then.

About a week or so after that I was feeling "blah" from all the snow and cold weather and wanted to work with some pretty colors to perk up my mood.  Enter that strange little pile of pretty fabrics...

They were an odd shape and not very many of them, so I decided to use them all and make a table runner to brighten my mood!  The only fabric I added to them was the blue gingham check that I used in the border and the backing fabric...both from my stash!  (The blue gingham used in the blocks was one that came in the stack of fabrics!)

Nothing says "Spring" like florals and gingham!!!  :)



Now can you see why I just couldn't get rid of these pieces of fabric?  Don't they just call your name and say "Look at me...don't I make you smile"???  

Loretta

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Vintage Stars quilt is DONE!!!

Quote for the Day:
"The hardest thing to find in life is happiness -- 
money is only hard to find because it gets wasted trying to find happiness."
~author unknown


I finished piecing the Vintage Stars quilt top made from vintage embroidered linens about 2 weeks ago.  Because I had to add interfacing to the vintage linens to give them added strength, I didn't want to try to hand quilt this one.  I also didn't feel that my machine quilting would do justice to the design, therefore, I decided to quilt this one "by checkbook"....the first quilt that I have ever sent out to be quilted by someone else!

I reached out to a local long-arm quilter here in Grafton, Joann Sturm, that I used to attend church with.  She listened to what I wanted and had it completed and back to me one week later!  She did a great job of custom quilting on it!  When I got it home, I added a scrappy binding and labeled it.  I still need to wash it, but wanted to go ahead and photograph it and share it with you!



Here are some close-ups so you can see the excellent quilting in the blocks and sashings...



...and in the pinwheel cornerstones...



The border...


The pieced back...


...and the label...


This one is for ANDY & ME!!!!!!!!  I give most of my quilts away...but this one was made for us!!!

Now...I'm going to go put it in the wash...  :)

Loretta

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A New Quilt Block!!!



I'm sure that you all have heard about the Human Genome Project...the project that's been going on since the late 1990's that is mapping all of the genes and chromosomes of the human body.
The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint.
What you may not realize is that they have found that there is a "decorating gene"...some people have it and some people don't.  When they saw the gene, they knew it was the "decorating gene" because it had a little tiny wreath hanging on it!  

BAZZINGA!!!

I can tell you right now that I am deficient in that gene!  That is why I troll Pinterest like my life depended on it!  Yesterday I came upon this article by an interior designer about decorating above cabinets, and it made me more comfortable about this open space above my kitchen cabinets.  I'd been contemplating if I should put something up there or not.  


The article was interesting because it talked about WHEN to put something above a cabinet or shelf.

Back track to last week when I was gifted a hand-made wooden quilt made by a very talented wood-worker...my friend and chiropractor, Dr. Leonette!  I "thought" I knew where I wanted to hang it in the entry way, but for some reason I couldn't pull the trigger to hang it in that spot.  

We have plaster walls, and you'd better be VERY SURE that you want something someplace before you go drilling into the plaster because it is NOT easily fixed like drywall is.  

Then today it hit me what the author said about extending the height of a short piece of furniture by decorating on top with large, non-cluttered items...and I knew just the place for the wooden quilt...


We have two hutches in the dining room...this being the shorter of the two...and that blank space above it always bothered me....it was 3-3.5' of blank space!!  The high ceilings in this house make this mid-century modern hutch look even shorter than it is!  

Instead of hanging this beautiful wooden quilt on the wall, I set it atop the hutch and leaned it against the wall...thus making the two look continuous and increasing the perceived height of the hutch!  Look at the size of that space above it that was just blank before!

I have a variety of woods in this room, so the fact that it is a different wood than the hutch just goes with eclectic feel of the room.  All of the artwork on the walls in this room are one-of-a-kind, hand-made pieces...and all are made by people we know!  I love that!!!  It makes each piece just that much more special to us.

I think it looks good from all angles! 




Yep...that'll do!!  Thanks, Doc, for the beautiful gift!  It will be loved and appreciated very much!

Loretta